Site home page
Get alerts when Linktionary is updated
Book updates and addendums
Get info about the Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunicatons, 3rd edition (2001)
Download the electronic version of the Encyclopedia of Networking, 2nd edition (1996). It's free!
Contribute to this site
Electronic licensing info
PKI (Public-Key Infrastructure)
Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.
A public-key infrastructure (PKI) is a full system for creating and managing public keys used for encrypting data and exchanging those keys among users. A PKI may be installed on an enterprise network, or it may be available in the public environment. A PKI is a complete system for managing keys that includes policies and working procedures.
PKI is about distributing keys in a secure way. Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman developed the concept of asymmetric public-key cryptography in 1976, but it was RSA (Rivest, Shamir, Adleman) Data Systems that turned it into a workable and commercial system. Today, RSA is the most popular public-key scheme.
This topic continues in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications" with a discussion of the following:
The two IETF working groups mentioned earlier (PKIX and SPKI) are developing public-key infrastructure standards. The Web sites (listed on the related entries page) provide a complete list of related drafts and RFCs. Some of the more important RFCs related to PKI are listed here.
Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.